Appetizers | Field To Table

How to Make Lox

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You can make lox at home? Yes, you can! If you always wanted to learn how to make lox at home, you are in the right place, with this step by step tutorial.

Sliced lox on board with colorful tomatoes and cucumbers.Pin

What is lox?

Traditionally lox was just a salt- brined salmon filet.

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There are many different types of lox. They are all named for a method of brining and preparation. Nova lox have a mild brine and then are cold smoked.

Bagel and lox appetizer spread on marble board.Pin

The other types are Scotch, Nordic, Nova Scotia and Gravlax, each has a slightly different brine and most are then cold smoked others are just cured in the salt.

Each type of lox have different flavors and herbs and spices added, such as dill, juniper berries, coriander, caraway seeds, dry mustard and black pepper.

Cold smoking is smoking that is done at a temperature of less than 80°F. This is a bit more difficult to do at home, because most consumer type smokers only do 100°F at the lowest.

Homemade lox are so easy and delicious, you will wonder why you have been spending a ton of money on them at the grocery store.

Cucumber and salmon appetizers on wooden board.Pin

Is there a difference between lox and smoked salmon?

Yes. Smoked salmon is first brined for a shorter time and then hot smoked at a higher temperature. Lox is generally not smoked, and some types are cold-smoked, usually at low temperatures, around 75°F. You want the salmon to be cooked to a temperature of 145°F, until done.

Smoked salmon does not have the silky texture that lox has. It has a more chewy texture.

What salmon to use

The best salmon species to use are Atlantic, Sockeye, King or Coho salmon, including the belly meat. These species have a higher fat content.

If shopping for salmon at a grocer, buy frozen salmon. Then, thaw it and continue with the recipe.

Don’t use salmon from the fish department that has been thawed previously. You don’t know how long it has been there.

A word about eating raw or undercooked fish

The US FDA has guidelines for consuming raw or undercooked fish and seafood. They recommend using previously frozen seafood If you choose to consume raw fish…. “one rule of thumb is to eat fish that has been previously frozen.

Furthermore, specific groups of individuals should avoid raw or undercooked seafood. See article for more information on who should avoid undercooked foods.

What you need

  • Salmon filet
  • Salt
  • brown sugar
  • plastic wrap and aluminum foil
  • container large enough to place salmon in
Ingredients needed; salmon, brown sugar, salt.Pin

How to make it

  • Rinse and dry salmon by patting it with paper towels.
  • Mix salt and sugar in a bowl.
  • Lay plastic wrap in a container large enough to hold salmon; laying it flat in a large plastic storage container or even a rectangular glass baking dish works well. Sprinkle salt & sugar on plastic. Top with salmon. Add the remaining salt & sugar to the top of the salmon. Cover the top of the filet with more plastic wrap.
Salt & sugar mixed in bowl. Salmon placed in plastic wrap topped with salt & sugar mix.Pin

Place something flat over the top of the salmon and weigh it down. Place in the fridge and let it cure for 2 days.

When you take the salmon out of the refrigerator, unwrap it. Then rinse the salmon very well.

Once the salmon is rinsed, dry it with more paper towel again. Slice it with a filet knife across the salmon into very thin slices. (Hold your knife parallel to your cutting board.)

If you don’t have a filet knife, you can also dice the cured salmon.

How to eat lox

One of the most famous ways to enjoy lox is with bagels and cream cheese. The traditional Jewish delis in New York City always have bagels, cream cheese and lox on the menu.

This is usually served with cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion slices and capers.

Close up slice of cucumber topped with cream cheese and lox. Pin

Lox and cream cheese make a delicious dip for crackers or bread points. Add some colorful fresh herbs, like fresh dill and parsley, and some orange zest or lemon zest. Totally delicious.

You can also make a simple appetizer with slices of cucumber smeared with cream cheese, salmon, and a sprinkle of fresh chives.

They’re also delicious on a cracker with a slice of cheese!

How long will it last?

It should last at least seven days if refrigerated. For longer storage, place in bags and freeze for up to 4 or 5 months.

Other delicious salmon recipes

Hand grabbing bagel with lox. Sliced salmon on marble board with tomatoes, cucumbers and bagels.Pin

I hope you enjoyed the recipe today for How to make lox. They are incredibly delicious and easy and you can save yourself a boatload of money!

So make some today!

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If you have any questions or comments, please ask in the comment section below. We’d love to hear from you.

I hope you enjoyed the recipe today.

Enjoy. And have fun cooking!

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Cucumber appetizers with homemade lox and cream cheese.

How to Make Lox

You can make lox at home? Yes, you can! If you always wanted to learn how to make lox at home, you are in the right place, with this step by step tutorial.
See Step by Step Photos Above!Most of our recipes have step by step photos and videos! Also helpful tips so that you can make it perfectly the first time and every time! Scroll up to see them!
4.84 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer, Brunch, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Brining time: 2 days
Total Time: 2 days 5 minutes
Servings: 50 appetizers
Calories: 34kcal
Author: Beth Neels
Cost: $30


  • 2 lbs salmon filet use Atlantic, Sockeye, King or Cohoe salmon ** see important notes below!
  • 1 cup salt use sea salt or Kosher salt, not table salt.
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar


  • Rinse salmon and pat dry. ** See important notes below.
    2 lbs salmon filet
  • Dry salmon well by blotting with paper towel.
  • Mix salt and sugar.
    1 cup salt, 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • Cut plastic wrap large enough to wrap entire piece of salmon.
  • Place plastic wrap in large container, big enough to hold salmon filet.
  • Spread salt mixture all on top of salmon.
  • Top it with piece of plastic wrap.
  • Top the plastic with aluminum foil.
  • Place a heavy weight on top of salmon.
  • Store in refrigerator 2 days to cure.
  • Once cured, rinse salmon very well and pat dry.
  • Slice salmon very thin, with filet knife, along the top of the fish with the knife parallel to board.
  • See notes for storage tips.
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** Store in refrigerator for up to a week. 
For longer storage, store in plastic bags in freezer, for up to 4 months.
See this article from the US FDA for important notes on eating raw or undercooked fish
Use only frozen salmon fillets and thaw them at home. Do not use pre-thawed salmon from your grocer.
Lox can be made with fresh caught salmon, as well. Use only Atlantic, sockeye, King or Cohoe salmon.
Each type of lox have different flavors and herbs and spices added, such as dill, juniper berries, coriander, caraway seeds, dry mustard and black pepper.
Don’t throw away the salmon skin. Dehydrate it for your dogs! It is very good for them.


Calories: 34kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 2272mg | Potassium: 92mg | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 7IU | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 1mg
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  1. 4 stars
    Hi there , I make lox once a month , have never thought to use brown sugar hmmmm. bagel yes cream cheese yes a slice of sweet or red onion yes , I will try the brown sugar idea Wed. thank you for your thoughtful ideas

  2. hi.. i am wondering if you can use the frozen filets….no skin and already cut into “steaks”…rather than whole filets?…would i do anything different?
    thanks so much.

    1. It is best to use frozen and then thawed filets You can use skinless filets. If they are cut into smaller filets then they may need less time to cure but it won’t hurt to let it cure for the full days either. Let me know if that answers your question.

    1. There are different types of lox. Some are cold smoked. But technically lox are not the same as smoked salmon. There article above the recipe explains this in more detail.

  3. 5 stars
    I always wanted to learn how to make lox but did not have a chance. No, I did not have a recipe-tutorial to follow! Thanks a lot for your step by step photographed explanations. I hope to get the same result as yours 🙂

    1. I’m glad you liked the article. Thanks so much for the comment. Good luck and let me know how it goes.

  4. 5 stars
    This is so perfect for the weekend breakfast and for holidays. I love to snack on these all day long. Love your tips and storage instructions.

  5. 5 stars
    This recipe is amazing!!! I used to eat lox so much when I lived in New York City, but since moving back to the midwest I don’t get it as much. Thanks for sharing this, it feels like home 🙂

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